Fictional architecture photographs by Filip Dujardin
Since 2007, Filip Dujardin has forged a parallel artistic career to his work as an architectural photographer with Fictions, a series of digitally orchestrated images featuring impossible, fictional architecture.
Filip Dujardin admits he is a frustrated architect. But the Belgian photographer’s aspirations to design buildings have been anything but stifled.
Filip Dujardin‘s set of structurally impossible architecture photographs will have you looking at every detail in search of those details that are basically implausible.
Working with a set of photos of real buildings in and around Ghent, Belgium, and using digital collaging techniques, the photographer created a mind-dazzling collection of photos.
Most of his architectural creations are structurally implausible, however, seem perfectly ordinary at first glance, revealing their absurdity only as the viewer notices missing or incongruous details : in his structures, windows and doors are optional, as is the need to follow basic rules of engineering or even gravity.
His work on this project expresses the intricacy of architecture while pushing the limits of reality well beyond the immediate visual effect. Transforming existing buildings into fictional structures, Filip took out details and added some unusual ones instead.
This work refer also to his belgian cultural heritage, referencing surrealists such as René Magritte and Raoul Servais carefully weaving the surreal into the rich urban language.
Cantilevers are extreme, floors wonky or pitched and layouts are overall dysfunctional. “I come from a country of surrealists and I guess I follow in that tradition,” says Dujardin. Access to technologies allows him to construct images that leave viewers second guessing – are the buildings real or invented? “I’m working on the axis of reality and unreality. You never see buildings like these in real life, but there is a sense of plausibility,” he says.
There is an overall pathos to the images. The buildings appear in isolation from other structures. They look tired. A quasi-Soviet-era patina is applied to prevent the buildings appearing like the glossy renderings used by architects and real estate agents. “The parts I use are often from dull office buildings in Ghent and so they have a kind of sixties or seventies patina,” he says. “They are like architectural monuments that have been lost on the periphery of a city.”
Some critics see Dujardin’s images as advocating an alternative approach to architecture, but he insists that his objective is purely about form. “My interest has always been to explore the sculptural qualities of architecture,” he says. “I don’t have pretensions to design buildings for real. Because they are not designed with a plan, it is only the form that interests me.”
[divider]Filip Dujardin [/divider]
Filip Dujardin studied history of art at the University of Ghent, specializing in architecture and now works as an independent photographer.
Rambling to sites of architectural interest with his interior architect father imbued him with a fascination for built structures.
Teachers advised Dujardin that he lacked the maths smarts to succeed, so he studied art history with a focus on architectural theory. Later, studies in photography led to a career as a photographer for Italian design publications such as Domus and Casabella.
A desire to devise his own buildings returned: his first images were interventions on existing buildings or began with Lego maquettes. As his computer skills improved, he began constructing the buildings from scratch. Once he has arrived at a shape, Dujardin constructs the building’s skin using photographic details from real buildings.
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